Saudi Arabia’s Futuristic, Self-Sufficient Mega Project

Today's global problems call for desperate measures. For years we have heard that space is running out, that overpopulation is a danger because resources are limited, and that for the sake of the environment we will have to find new ways to live and even feed ourselves.

From colonies on to aquatic cemeteries, we hear about future or hypothetical projects with the flavor of a distant and improbable dystopia.

And one such dystopia that seems quite feasible is New Murabba, a new project undertaken by Saudi Arabia. Judging by the photo, it looks like a giant cube built in an already improbable but certain city in an incredible desert. However, New Murabba will be, according to the Saudi country, a district of Riyadh that is intended to become the center of the city. Something like a huge building that will be able to house thousands of rooms and tens of thousands of people.

It will be a neighborhood in Riyadh that aims to become the center of the city. Something like a huge building that could house thousands of rooms and tens of thousands of people.

Construction is expected to be completed by 2030 and more than 334,000 jobs are expected to be created through the life that will emerge within the site itself: museums, theaters, hotels and other places to encourage tourism. The cube in question will be called Mukaab and is expected to be 400 meters high, long and wide.

At first glance, living crammed into an isolated macro-place is nothing new. Just ask Hong Kong, where the walled city of Kowloon, demolished in 1994 after decades of uncontrolled construction, neglect, prostitution and drugs, had over time become a human hive, more densely populated than New York. However, the Saudi project removes all the disadvantages of segregation through capitalism and seems to be a dream come true, as they themselves tell it in a promotional video they uploaded on YouTube.

Located about 19 kilometers from the city of Riyadh, Mukaab will feature “a new way of living,” being a place inspired by Arab culture itself and close to nature, work and leisure (everything is supposed to be within a 15-minute walk). It will also include a university, a Broadway district and, as mentioned above, museums, cinemas, theaters and other forms of , as well as 9,000 hotels.

There will be a university, a Broadway district, museums, cinemas, theaters and other forms of entertainment, as well as 9,000 hotels. Everything will be accessible within a 15-minute walk.

Mukaab will be , according to its creators. The first destination as an immersive experience, which will help Riyadh rank among the most livable cities in the world. It was also announced that the interior of the building will feature a holographic experience showing underwater scenes and alien worlds that will give the whole thing an (even more) futuristic touch.

From the images presented in the project, it seems that people will be able to walk in nature or have a drink on a terrace while screens programmed around them will show flying dinosaurs, life on other planets or giant holographs walking among people. All this while the inhabitants walk or cycle through the appropriate areas. The future, whatever it is, is already here.

Riyadh is located on a vast plateau surrounded by oases and a large desert. The aridity of the soil makes it necessary to bring water from the Persian Gulf.

However, Riyadh is a rather futuristic city in itself. Located on a large plateau surrounded by oases and a large desert, the aridity of the soil forces water to be brought in from the Persian Gulf. If the project goes ahead, and everything leads us to believe that it will, it is likely that in 2030 we will have a new concept of architecture, with a building that will house inside a spiral tower, inspired by traditional Islamic architecture and with an imposing garden on the roof.

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